In Canada, research is primarily financed through governmental granting agencies. There are three main agencies organized according to the three (3) major areas of research:
- the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC);
- the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC);
- the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
From 2011 to 2014, the government of Canada cut CGA’s funding. At their peak these cuts represented an annual lost $32 million when put together (Graph 1). These cuts forced the CGA to reduce the funding of their different programs. In fact, at their individual peak, CGA student’s program’s funding was reduced by $24 million (Graph 2). Which means that approximately 3/4 of the government’s cut were absorbed by CGA’s student programs while they represented on average 12,0% of their annual budget (17.2% for SSHRC, 13.2% for NSERC and 6.3% for CIHR).
Unfortunately, since 2014, only small reinvestments have been done in CGA’s students programs. In last year’s budget, SSHRC and NSERC were still putting less money in these programs than they did in 2011 in current dollars (Graph 2). Moreover, they confirmed that none of the latest investment announced in the 2018–2019 budget could be reinvested in student’s programs for the same reason.
Fortunately, in last year’s budget, the government of Canada stated: “Over the next year, the Government will be doing further work to determine how to better support students, the next generation of researchers, through scholarships and fellowships.” Message that was repeated by the government’s elected representatives last November.
Therefore, we ask the government of Canada to reinvest an additional 55.9 M$ in the Tri-Agency specifically for students’ programs as soon as 2019–2020 OR to ensure that students’ programs represent respectively 17.2%, 13.2% and 6.3% of SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR’s total budget.